My favorite brioche dough
This is my favorite brioche dough. Not as dull as french brioche that contains almost no sugar and too much butter, not as "dietetic" as italian brioche that has a touch more sugar but too little taste overall. It's very sweet and buttery without excess (at least for my tastes) and especially the crumb is very very soft (did i ever write how much I detest chewy crumbs?:-) ). The crumb I want is as soft and light as cloud, leaving you with the doubt of having even bitten something. In a word: ethereal.
500 gr flour (50% bread flour and 50% cake flour)
300 gr divided between 3 eggs + water: (60% liquids). Replace water with milk if you want a tighter crumb (as in my picture)
150 gr sugar (30%)
8 gr salt (1.5%)
200 gr butter (40%)
flavors (generally I use dried and sifted orange and lemon zest, but instant coffee is an alternative that I love more and more ). I find that adding flavors make a lot of difference, they may make the difference between a so-and-so and an excellent result.
Preferment with 50 gr flour, 50 gr water, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 10 gr of wheat starter. All ingredients subtracted from the total.
I always preferment 10% of the flour with equal weight of water and a teaspoon of sugar, plus some of my wheat starter. When it has at least tripled in size I prepare the dough as I always do: all ingredients except butter mixed together at high speed with the paddle attachment; when the dough comes together I add the butter in 8 pieces adding the next block only when the previous has been completely incorporated. When the dough comes completely together I mount the hook attachment to take the dough to complete gluten development, still at high speed. The dough must pass the windowpane test, it's the most fundamental part as txfarmer explained so well in several occasions.
3 hours at room temperaturem, than 2 days in the fridge at 10°C. Such a long rest in necessary to get an extremely soft dough. With shorter rests in the fridge I never obtained the same result, meaning that the crumb always had a tougher feel.
At this point the dough should be spread, divided in 6x2 cylinders, eached rolled without pulling tight. When the cylinders have tripled in size bake in preheated oven at 200°C in static mode or at 180° in convection mode until the top gets a golden brown color. Other people reported better results at 180° in static mode or at 160° in convection mode. In my opinion the best would be a simple fan-assisted mode, that my oven doesn't have.
This is the crumb of one of my brioche
Other brioche, done by my friends and better looking than mine:-)